Over winter break I got to enjoy wonderful 70 degree weather, not because my family decided to escape the cold and visit a warm place, but because I decided to attend a national conference! It was the Annual American Meteorological Society conference and it took place in New Orleans, Louisiana this year. I got to experience warmth, learn about new and exciting areas of meteorology, network with professionals, and gain valuable personal skills.
Learning Experience Conferences are places where your knowledge can grow. At the conference I attended this past winter, there were thousands of talks by professionals and peers about what they are working on. There were so many talks on subjects I had never even considered before and areas that I had no knowledge in. I was able to learn something new by attending all these presentations and find the area of meteorology I was interested in. Conferences for other majors are no different. There is still a vast amount of information being presented that is new to someone. Being exposed to this variety is a great way to learn what your passion is and to work towards doing that later in life.
Networking Conferences are the perfect place for networking because they are times where professionals come together in one location. What more could you want as a college student looking for jobs or internships than multiple professionals in one area? Attending conferences allows you to interact with people who may hire you. It gets your name out there and gives you the one-up when applying for jobs or internships.
Personal Skills The above benefits of conferences are what you might think of as obvious benefits to attending a conference. However, you might not think about the personal skills you could gain. Conferences help you feel confident as you perform adult tasks such as booking flights or navigating new cities. The knowledge of how to do things on your own is a valuable skill that is gained through attending conferences.
Overall, conferences are a fantastic opportunity available to students and are extremely beneficial to attend as they can help with networking, acquiring more knowledge and gaining personal skills. No matter your major, there is something out there for your area of interest. Don’t feel like you only have to attend your area’s conference either! Branching out could open your eyes to what else is out there.
Posted by: Lauren Walker